Are Dollar Store Reading Glasses Appropriate for You?

by | May 28, 2024 | Eye Exam, eye test

eye examination test

Who needs reading glasses? In the end, we all need them because presbyopia becomes noticeable for most people after age 40.

Because presbyopia is caused by age-related changes in the eye’s lens, it cannot be prevented or reversed. However, experts say the right pair of reading glasses, including those easily available in stores or pharmacies, can help focus on fine print and other objects.

At Salisbury Optometrist, we tell you how to find the perfect pair. In this blog, we tell you how prescription lenses differ from generic lenses and why you should always do a visual examination test. If you have questions about the pair of glasses you find at the optics store, continue reading.

Non-Prescription Reading Glasses

According to experts, “reading glasses from a pharmacy are perfectly safe.” They point out that over-the-counter reading glasses, including inexpensive options from dollar stores, can help you focus up close and won’t harm your eyesight. But, they add, once your near vision starts to change, you can expect it to continue to worsen until your mid-60s.

That means the lens magnification for the reading glasses you start with will have to increase over the years. A good rule of thumb is that any reading glasses prescription will last about two years for anyone between 45 and 65 years old.

Experts say the best way to determine the prescription you need is with an eye examination test, which can tell you what power you need. The higher the number, the more magnification the glasses have.

If you want an easy way to check it in the store without an eye test appointment, just grab a greeting card from the hallway. Hold the card at a comfortable reading distance and try on several pairs. until you find the one that works best.

If you are undecided between two pairs, in most cases, when two powers of reading glasses seem equally suitable, choose the lower power ones. Choosing reading glasses that are too strong usually causes more discomfort problems than reading glasses that are too weak.

You should also consider the activity for which you will use the reading glasses. Computer work, for example, usually takes place at a greater distance than reading a book and, therefore, requires less power.

Prescription Reading Glasses

Over-the-counter glasses are not suitable for everyone, including people with astigmatism and those who need reading glasses with different powers for each eye. In those cases, reading glasses made with an eye examination test are a better option.

The most popular choice of prescription reading glasses are progressive lenses that combine several prescriptions into a single lens. With a gradual change from top to bottom, allowing someone to wear just one pair of glasses to correct distance, mid-distance and near vision.

For people who otherwise do not have vision problems, reading clear glasses (non-prescription) on top is another popular option available at the eye doctor. They can be worn continuously and eliminate the need to wear reading glasses throughout the day.

Prescription reading glasses might also be a better option for someone who wants more options. They can have blue light-blocking lenses or an anti-glare coating, plus a larger selection of fashion frames. An optician can obtain these lenses after performing an eye examination test.

What happens when the Glasses do not have the Correct Prescription?

Although the use of this type of lens will not affect the development of presbyopia, experts point out that other problems can arise from their use. One of the main problems is inadequate correction, especially if they are using glasses with a prescription much higher than what is needed. Another inappropriate use would be in those people who have an interpupillary distance that is very different from the average. In that case, we may be causing a prismatic effect, that is, a deviation in the object we are looking at. In these cases, prolonged use can end up generating a serious problem with the alignment of the visual axis.

In most cases, the way to acquire this type of product is done independently and without advice. It is the person himself who tries on different models until he finds the one that he or she considers most appropriate. This is a subjective assessment and is not always the most appropriate.

A very common mistake is to think that this type of glasses can replace individualized prescription glasses. Using pre-mounted glasses can cause many problems, including headaches.

You might think that to prescribe and fit glasses, you have to complete a university degree, perhaps because it is not that simple. That is why you should never rule out an eye examination test to know the appropriate prescription.

Final Words

The world has changed a lot since a few years ago. Options for reading glasses, both over-the-counter and prescription, are available today. Now they are fashionable, they are fun, and they can give you personality.

However, the best way to get a proper prescription is to go to an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

Salisbury Optometrist has over 30 years of experience in eye care and is committed to providing Australians with the best care for their eyes. Our eye specialists take the time to discuss your fears and concerns, guiding your decision-making process in the right direction. At Salisbury Optometrist, our professional eye experts utilize the latest technology to detect and treat a variety of eye health conditions. Contact us today to schedule an appointment, and we will help you find the right pair of glasses.


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